1. John in Boston says

    Chavez knows who he must play up to on the international stage. He certainly was damning with faint praise, but Venezuelans have far more pressing issues than gay marriage and gay rights, which to 99% of those outside the bourgeois first world is, AT BEST, fringe issue(s)

    Gay people who praise Chavez, Castro, et al., really have their head up their ass.

  2. Randy says

    I disagree with the analysis. “Ideas continuing to mature” does not imply that a mature society would have those ideas.

  3. Paul R says

    Come on. You’re expecting him to parse sexual orientation as opposed to identity? Good luck finding many US politicians, much less citizens, who could explain the difference.

  4. charles Fournier says

    The analysis on 2) mentions “sexual orientation” as if it has a bad connotation.

    Make sure there is no abuse of language there. I’m Francophone and “orientation sexuelle” is commonly used in canada, one of the pioneers in gay rights, and it is very accepted and often used expression. Chavez might translated word for word the expression from spanish, where it they come from the same latin roots as french does AND the expression is commonly used in spanish as well (if i remember my spanish classes well).


  5. says

    Basically he just waffled round it, then.

    Even the average American fundamentalist denies wanting to persecute people for their sexual orientation. Show me deeds and policies, not words.

  6. Rafael says

    I been told by someone gay from Caracas who had held talks with Chavez, that he [Chavez] was very progressive in regards to LGBT issues. I later read on El Nacional a report of this guy and others being spotted exiting Miraflores on different opportunities, late at night on unofficial meetings. All I can make about this, is that the gay issue resonates with Chavez, either he is bisexual, have gay relatives or is close to someone gay. Either way, none of the above changes his political reality. Chavez has many self inflicted problems he has to resolve before he can make a difference in the lives of others. Although there is no organized sociopolitical agenda against LGBT people in Venezuela, there is no culture for their acceptance. There is a lot of prejudice and most gay people live in the closet, even those with substantial power.

  7. Michael W. says

    His answer reminds me of Charles Durning’s musical number in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas…

  8. Justin says

    Cyndi Lauper’s tour Bring Ya To The Brink was supposed to end in Caracas Venezuela but Hugo Chavez decided to cancell her concert because she promoted equal right for all. This guy is a complete ass!

  9. dizzyspins says

    What is it with the gays looking to oppressive Leftist regimes as somehow progressive on gay issues. Castro, Chavez–they just talk the talk to look better than the U.S. Chavez doesnt give ANY of his people civil liberties. Because he mutters a few waffling words Im supposed to move to Caracas? At least our douchebag politicians can be voted out of office. Chavez is well on his way to president-for-life a la Castro.

  10. says

    Truth be told, Chavez may find it silly to oppress people due to sexual orientation, when he prefers to oppress them for so many other reasons.

  11. unokhan says

    miami just keeps it up, making anti-hugo stuff up out of whole cloth, not bothering with citations or statments from lauper herself. nice try, amigas!

  12. TANK says

    Hugo Chavez is a lousy person, make no mistake. I mean, if the benchmark is improvement in the lives of average venezuelans, you don’t have to be…a good person for that. He’s curtailed freedom of speech to the degree that the media in venezuela exists to promote his ideals. But this…I dunno, this kind of indifference of south american enlighteneds means nothing in terms of tangible difference.

    His redeeming quality seems to be his ability to irritate the religious right in this country by his refusal to entertain u.s. exploitation/imperialism of natural resources in his country. That’s gotta be worth something. Chances are if the religious right is peeved by x, x is a good thing. Nay, a great thing worthy of praise.

  13. TANK says

    In fact, if you lack a moral compass of your own for whatever reason, look at what the religious right stands for, and follow the exact opposite to be a good person.

  14. John says

    Chavez started out with a fair amount of legitimacy. He got elected in relatively fair and free elections in 1998 and 2000. But like many populist leaders, he got greedy and started violating his own rules.

    Especially since 2007 when the voters rejected his plan to rule Venezuela forever, Chavez has become increasingly autocratic and unreasonable. He respected the results of that election for about five seconds. Then his cronies in the legislature passed a constitutional amendment sans referendum allowing him to rule Venezuela forever any way. One wonders why he bothered to hold an election in the first place.

    And then, of course, there are the recent attempts by the Venezuelan government to strong arm the previously independent media into becoming their very own “FOX News.” And the disposing of political enemies with ridiculous criminal charges. Given all that, and after such a promising start, the “Bolivarian Revolution” is beginning to look like all the other failed revolutions of the last century.

  15. Aaron says

    I agree, Chalres. I also think the analysis makes it seem like the term sexual orientation is somehow being used negatively: “He thinks that being gay is a ‘sexual orientation’ instead of being an identity”

    But I admit I’m completely confused by this statement or its relevance. In social psychological terms, “gay” is an identity label that some people use to describe their sexual orientation, while sexual orientation refers to a combination of sexual behavior, sexual desire and the label one applies to the sexual self. In this framework, neither sexual orientation nor sexual identity has a negative connotation yet the above statement makes it seem like we’re supposed to think its relevant to understanding the attitudes of Chavez.

    Am I missing something? I’d be curious to hear what others think even though I agree this is a relatively small point.

  16. Shan says

    How is this different to how our US politicians think?
    We have so much work at home in regards to GLBT issues. I really do not care what this man says.

  17. Eduardo says

    Hi to everyone, I’m a gay venezuelan guy. In 2007 he wanted to change the constitution of our country proposing a very totalitary new one. Among other stuff like getting all the power to himself and void private property, he proposed legalize gay marriage.

    The proposal was denied by the people in our country. Since then, all the proposal where done by changing the laws, but legalize gay marriage was never spoken again. That clearly was a populistic proposal in order to gain votes to his totalitary project.

  18. Phineas says

    Aaron, I agree with you COMPLETELY. And, as an Argentinean, I can tell you that (just like the Francophone commenter) “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity” are NOT two distinct terms, in colloquial language at least. That Chavez is a complete shit is obvious, but not in this case. If anything, he is reflecting the state of his people who, like Eduardo comments, oppose gay marriage. Obama would do the same freaking thing (siding with the majority simply because he needs to keep everyone happy).

  19. Joseph says

    Yes, I have to admit that I’m confused about how or when “sexual orientation” became a bad phrase compared to “sexual identity.” In fact, I’ve very rarely heard the term “sexual identity.”

  20. says

    The notion that Chavez cancelled Cyndy Laupers concer tis FALSE and fabricated and has been refuted.

    Chavez has done a lot for lgbtq people by increasing health care and literacy etc. in that country and things continue to improve contrary to the corporate US media reports.